Why Canadian Writers Should Beware of Create Space
Recently, the paperback rights to one of my novels, Nowhere to Run, reverted to me. Since the publisher still owns the ebook rights, I decided to go ahead and self publish the paperback since I really wanted to hold a copy of the novel I worked so hard on in my hands.
The first thing I did was have a cover designed. I'm very happy with it and more than willingly paid the $100 US to have a professional design it thinking perhaps, in time, I would recoup the money on paperback sales. I did the interior design myself and the end product, if I don't say so myself, is very professional. I'm proud of the novel.
After ordering a proof copy and determining all was well, I made it available for sale on Amazon. However, here's the rub - as a Canadian author, I must wait until I have $100US in royalties before I see one cent of the money I make from sales.
Since Nowhere to Run's release in paperback on October 3, 2015, I've made four sales with a total royalty amount of a little over $8.00. It's unlikely that I will sell forty-five more copies any time soon as those four copies were to friends and family. And, as we all know, ebooks out sell paperbacks because they are a more economical purchase.
When setting up my account, the only payment type I was allowed to select (as a Canadian) was payment by check, not direct deposit, which is subject to attaining the minimum threshold amount. Other counties such as the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, or the Netherlands, are eligible for monthly direct deposits and therefore, do not have to meet any threshold requirements in order to get paid.
To make it clear, Amazon is keeping all of my profits, every single penny, until I meet the threshold which is, at best, difficult if not impossible, in the over crowded self-publishing marketplace.
Canadian writers beware. Don't make the same mistake I did. Use Lulu for printing your paperbacks because they print Canadian books in Canada and thus, you'll save a ton of money in shipping. Also, use other online booksellers to sell your books and drive traffic to those sites. Amazon is, like its name implies, a monster! It's a huge corporation with a bad reputation. They blatantly steal whatever they can from the pockets of hard-working writers.
I don't know about you, but I write novels in order to build a career, to make a living, not to "give" the proceeds of my sales to Amazon. Like I wrote earlier, it's unlikely that I will ever make enough sales for Amazon to pay me. I spent money on a cover and a year of my life writing Nowhere to Run, all to what end? It's discouraging and frustrating and most of all, extremely unfair.
Also, my book is not available on Amazon.ca so my Canadian friends and family have to pay more because of the present weakness of the Canadian dollar as well as higher shipping fees (also in American dollars). To say the least, I am more than disappointed.
Feel free to contact me with any questions (or suggestions).